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Davenport war veteran tries to prove he is alive

Shannon Behnken TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 06:18 PM

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A disabled veteran in Davenport had been declared dead by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the much alive man has been having trouble trying to prove otherwise.

James Hanna says the VA mistakenly reported him deceased in October, cut his benefits, and demanded his family repay the benefits.

"They said we have a problem here, our records show that you are deceased," Hanna said, who has been trying to work with the regional office in St. Petersburg to correct the error.

"They don't verify, they don't call a funeral home, they don't ask for any documentation," he said. "They just go in and shut everything down."

Hanna, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, chocked it up to human error.

But, his wife received letters saying that the benefits had been terminated, and even worse, the VA said that some of the benefits needed to be sent back.

Since government computers are networked, the error was passed along to the Social Security Administration.

"They were getting ready to do away with my Social Security number," Hanna said, who also has to prove to that agency he is still alive and due benefits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs responded to him with this statement: "The VA works diligently to serve all veterans and we regret the inconvenience and frustration this has caused Mr. Hanna and his family."

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